App marketing is a tricky business. Most of you already know this. Go on, put your hand up if you’re an app developer and you’ve spent countless hours (and an unfathomable amount of dollars!) writing content about your amazing app. You might well have blasted out a gazillion press releases to app review sites and the likes, and crashed so many forums that you can’t remember what you posted where, but still your app sales are bumping along in single figures each week.
It’s a thankless task, or so you might think.
Promoting your app takes time and effort. You’re doing the right things, and sometimes all you need is a stroke of luck to help you along. You also need to think about those customers who have actually got your app on their iPhone, iPad or Android devices. They can help you sell more. In fact, they can help you sell A LOT MORE! All you need to do is give them the right tools to lay bare the real secret to app marketing.
Building your mobile app for engagement
What makes a mobile app a joy to use? Is it the simplicity of concept, the amazing graphics, or the convenience it brings to the lives of those who use it? In short, it is…and it isn’t!
Yes, all of these build elements make for a great mobile app, but what really makes it valuable to your users (and you) is its level of engagement and interactivity.
Picture this: You’ve built a game app. It’s a brilliant concept with superb graphics. It’s very playable and potentially addictive. Sounds great, but before you get that rush of blood to your head that tells you to get it out on the app store right now, stop and think how engaged users will be by your game app.
Will they play it endlessly, or will they lose interest in the game after a couple of weeks or months? Basically, what mechanisms are in place to make them want to come back to it, not necessarily of their own volition?
These are mechanisms you need to put in place yourself through your app. You need to create engagement and social interaction on a grand scale.
Get yourself onto a cloud-based backend server – there are several companies in this niche. Unfortunately I can’t name them in this article, so you’ll have to go and do some research or follow the links. When you do track them down, what they do for you is nothing short of brilliant! They store your app data on secure cloud data storage platforms. Once you have authenticated your app with them, you plug in to their SDK. This enables your app to interface with your data through a comprehensive suite of sophisticated REST APIs that bring instant engagement and social interaction between users of your app, and even between users and non users (otherwise known as potential customers!)
The simplicity of these instant backend servers is breathtaking. To give you an example, with push notifications from mobile backend service providers you can communicate directly with every user. So, say Jim Overhere sets a new high score on your game. When he does you can generate a push notification to other users of the game that Jim set the new high score. Using one simple API you can push that note to all of the people who have downloaded your game.
The response you get is then down to human psychology. Some people will see the note and say, “right, I’m going to beat Jim’s high score…”
Get enough people doing that – and get them talking about it to their friends on Facebook, twitter or whatever social platform they use, and you’ll naturally attract more downloads.
More about push notifications
Push notifications work well to create engagement. It doesn’t matters if the app is in use or not at the time the notification is sent via your backend server. Even if the app is closed on the device it is sent to, the user will still get it.
Push notifications are so easy to set up and manage through a cloud-based backend server. All you have to do is subscribe each user to the push notification system and you’re there. It doesn’t matter whether they have an iPad, an iPhone or an Android phone, one API does it all!
Do you get the ‘secret’ to app marketing now?